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 Post subject: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:04 pm 
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Might as well start a new topic instead of highjacking other threads here and there.

For those that consider going LC, parts are not cheap. I buy from a Canadian distributor. My original order was from NCIX, probably cheaper, but I thought I'd give a local a hand on my small orders.
http://www.dazmode.com

This is the sort of prices you will be facing local:
Image

My original order for pump, reservoir, 3 triple rads, cpu block, north/south bridge blocks, 2 voltage regulator blocks, 2 gpu blocks, tubing, fittings and various other doodads was $800.

With this latest order and a recent purchase at a local electronic store for heatshrink tubing, wire, connectors and some more doodads, I'm just over $1000. You don't have to spend this much for a basic system, you can probably get away with $500 today, prices are coming down all the time with competition. You can even get an all-in-one sealed liquid cooling system now for the i7, maintenance on these might be an issue - how long is the liquid good on these sealed systems?

The good thing is that I can reuse the "general plumbing" if I upgrade motherboard. With the new i7 layout, a single waterblock covers cpu and voltage regulators, no more north/south bridges. Add 2 fittings and clips, refill the system with fresh liquid and I'd be good to go.

Who knows, there might even be a buyer on ebay for all my old 680i waterblocks, but I'm not counting on it.

I'm using green Feser 1 liquid in this first attempt; all-in-one mixture = no fuss.

Tip #1: always prime the pump with water before operating it, always. You will gouge the bearings in a microsecond and scrap the pump if you don't.

Tip #2: always flush a new radiator with demineralized water before adding it to a system, they often have loose debris, metal shavings, solder and flux from the manufacturing process. Waterblocks are generally very clean and require no flushing.

Tip #3: make sure to remove any protective backing from waterblocks before settings on parts to be cooled.

Tip #4: Never use tap water to flush a system, ever. Minerals, chlorine, fluoride and any other additive are not your friend, and algae will grow much quicker.

Tip #5: you don't have to use fancy all-in-one liquids, demineralized water with a bit of ethyl glycol and anti-fungus agent will do the trick. I recommend all-in-one liquids, they are specially formulated for these systems.

Tip #6: double-check all connections before filling.

Tip #7: use an external power source to run the pump and prime the system at first. Place paper towels over PSU and all other sensitive parts you wish to protect from drips. Using an external power source means the computer is not powered up, you won't fry anything in case of radioactive meltdown. I use an old PSU.

Tip #8: ideally, test the entire system outside of case using demineralized water. Drain, reinstall and fill with the final liquid. Run for a while to get as much air as possible out of the system (bubbles will rise to the top of the reservoir and can be evacuated by the fill plug).

Tip #9: Measure twice, cut once. Do not bend a tube to the point of kinking, it will restrict the flow. Special plastic coiling is available to maintain tube "integrity" on sharp turns.

Tip #10: use clips on barb fittings, never trust a tube even if it appears snug, it could leak over time from pump pressure. Compression fittings are better but cost more.

Tip #11: set the pump on lowest setting at first, gradually increase to a desired setting. A noisy pump at higher speeds is most likely air bubbles, don't assume right away the bearings are shot.

Tip #12: include a fill and drain port, the few extra bucks on fittings and valves will worth it when you will maintain the system.

Tip #13: once a year, open a beer, drain the system, use beer, flush with demineralized water, use more beer, refill with liquid, finish beer.

Tip #14: use metal fittings, preferably silver if you can afford it (supposedly fungus does not like), then nickel, then chrome (can flake easier than nickel plating). Or you can gamble with plastic fittings, it's your motherboard, cpu, ram and power supply after all.

Tip #15: use metal clips on barbs, available at local automotive parts stores. You want the type with 3 teeth that you squeeze with a plier. Metal clips are strong and reusable, plastic are not.

Tip #16: loop = reservoir to pump to waterblocks to radiator and back to reservoir. Reservoir to pump is must have, rest is up to you. I prefer to put radiator at the end so the waterblocks get highest surge of water, and radiator doesn't - don't want to bust a solder joint.

Tip #17: use non-conductive thermal paste, high price is not guaranteed high quality.

Tip #18: figure on using one section of radiator (size of a fan) per waterblock/component. Ideally, have an extra section for added protection.

Tip #19: for extra airflow, you can place fans on both sides of the radiator in push-pull configuration. Ideally, use matching fans.

Tip #20: Fittings and tubing are measured by diameter; ID = inner diameter, OD = outer diameter. In my case, I am using 1/2"ID barb fittings on 1/2"ID 3/4"OD tubing (3/4" is important for grommet sizes when passing tube through panels).

Tip #21: green corrosion on copper surfaces inside the radiator is not abnormal, don't panic.

Tip #22: google is your friend, tons of material out there.

Tip #23: set up a camera on your first attempt and say "hey y'all, watch this" while holding a beer.


I really hope my mobo isn't cracked and the waterblocks are seated properly (microfractures can cut circuit paths and may not be visibily noticeable). As much as I'd love a new i7, I'd like to have this system operational for at least a year to experiment and learn.

So far I have 3 temperature sensors: one in the reservoir to monitor water, another in the top of the case in the tight spot above the video cards and another will be outside the case for ambient temperature.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Glad that you are into this Robert. Your posts are very interesting on the whole subject of water cooling. I wish you the best of luck!

For myself, I don't think water cooling is the way to go with my new build. The Intel 4790k does not seem to require it, even if OC'd. I ordered a CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO for the CPU to use instead of the stock cooler just for insurance. It cost $40 or less and has great reviews.

I've used a pre-built CPU water cooler for years going back to the I7-920 I had which ran really hot when OC'd. Didn't really need it for the I5-2500k I used later, but it has worked great. Now I'm going to try simpler air cooling.

But the water cooling thing is really another hobby-on-top-of the hobby, and certainly anyone brave enough to try it will be rewarded with cool temps. Again, I wish you well.

I got tired of cleaning the radiator though.

Good luck!
Barry



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:47 pm 
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Tip #24: Place fine screens on the radiator.


:D I have black ones on hand.

I've been reading a lot about the i7 not needing liquid. I would do it only because I'd have a system already on the PC, but you're right, I wouldn't start from zero for an i7. The all-in-one solutions are probably good enough.


Tip #25: If you can afford it, go for compression fittings. It's difficult to slide the tube off a barb and tube clamps are difficult to handle in some areas.

Tip #26: Use as few sharp 90degree fittings as possible, ideally use none. Better yet, use two 45degree bends in a row. Make sure to get 90degree elbows with the widest radius available. The largest one (top) is becoming harder to find here in Montreal, it is being replaced by the middle model (less copper). I've cleaned out the local hardware stores. :lol:

Image

I've tubed up my motherboard. First observation; 1/2" ID tubing has great water flow, but it's rather strong and can stress waterblocks that have "weak" mounts. I've used the coils to prevent the tube from binding in the turns, but I'm strongly NOT liking the overall look and feel.

That leftmost waterblock has the weakest mount and has a lot of stress on it. I added a short length of split tubing in the center and was planning on holding it down with tie-wraps; that relieves the pressure on the waterblock.

(pic now in next post with labels)

I'm thinking of getting some 1/2" copper elbows and trying them as 90degree turns to prevent getting this sort of stress on the waterblocks. I think they have female-female ends so I'd have to solder a short length of copper tubing. The big question is the outer diameter of 1/2" tubing, I'm hoping it's a snug fit into these plastic tubes.

In theory; using long type copper elbows would remove a lot of stress on the waterblocks mounts and add very little pressure on the water pump.


Last edited by CVA0014 on Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:44 am, edited 2 times in total.


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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:36 am 
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Wow, that setup is certainly beyond my knowledge. My water cooler was just a pump mounted on top of the CPU, like any other cooler. Had 2 hoses running to and from the radiator. It was all pre-assembled. I have no idea where all that stuff you have is going! Like I said, it's kind of a hobby all by itself.

Best of luck with it!

Barry



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:13 am 
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Here, I should have labelled it:
Image

Woot! It fits!
Image
(resized)

This would be much better; low cost, parts readily available, easy to use (if you already soldered plumbing), removes stress on waterblock mounts, copper is already used in the system (not good to use some metals like aluminium) and I can vary the plastic tube length to elevate one section over another.

It's a snug fit - difficult to slide off but not impossible with several wiggles back and forth. I figure it's better to use clamps anyways, it's not like they cost a fortune and can avoid a promotion to Major Screwup.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:54 pm 
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I use a simple system like Barry. Here are a few picture. I mounted it on the back of my case at an angle so I can clean it easier.

I run a P4 3.8 Intel OC to 4.274. an the temp never goes above 50c. I would like to push it to 4.8 but it is unstable and I no nothing about OC, so I do not know what to do next.

Image

Image

Image

Image



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:04 pm 
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Frank, there's a sequence to overckocking our older systems. First step is increasing FSB as high as possible before changing any other setting.

I'll put together a checklist as soon as I reach that step.

I have to fabricate at least one bracket, drill 3 square holes for sensor displays, cut-assemble-solder copper tubes, flush radiator, test system and then it's assemble time.

I'll install just one HDD to overclock, I'll install windows on the SSD later. Right now I want to see if the mobo is still good and how far it can go.

Don't forget that not all cpus and built equal. One guy with your cpu might hit 4.5 using identical setup and you might be limitted to 4.0, you never know.

Tip #27: Check the waterblock for arrows, some have a water flow direction and it affects efficiency.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:25 pm 
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Thanks Robert any help is always appreciated.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:45 pm 
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Hi Frank,

4.274 is pretty good. I've found that on a lot of chips, going above 4.4 starts to make things go haywire. Moving up the BLK can also mean you have to slightly increase voltage. Some chips just can't handle the increases, even if the specs say so. Most will shut down safely if you go too far. You also have to look at the RAM chips to see if they are up to the speed-some can be OC'd as well. And then the GPU needs to also be able to handle it. And there will be an increase in heat. Like your fans though!

I have not done it for a while and forget a lot of the steps. The new mobo's have stuff built in to make it easier. I am hoping my new CPU will be fast enough that I don't need to messs with it.

If I ever get it! This FedEx ground shipping is terrible!



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:51 am 
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Tip #28: get a tube cutter, it can get scary with a box cutter. :lol:

Image


Tip #29: use short lengths of plastic tube to hold fittings in place, it makes it easier to measure length required.

Image


Just balancing plumbing in place for a last inspection of layout before soldering copper together.

Image

Farging store tags are impossible to peel off. Probably going to light them up with the torch and see. :lol:


Tip #30: make sure to leave at least 1/4" between copper and silver fittings. The copper fitting is slightly larger and stretches the plastic tubing a little more than the silver fitting. You want to give the plastic tube room to shrink back to its normal size for a tight fit and avoid leaks.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:26 am 
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Here's an example of "this waterblock is compatible with the 680i motherboard" nonsense:

Image

Yes it is, as long as there isn't anything on top of the cpu. Which is freaking ridiculous!

Look at the braces for the cpu waterblock, they are about as narrow as they can be to reach the holes in the motherboard; you can't ask for much nicer than this cpu waterblock. Now look at the voltage regulator waterblock on the right; I had to grind into the corner to make it align with its own support holes. I had to shave something and it sure wasn't going to be the cpu brace. That waterblock is held down by 2 screws in a very precarious balance.

That is an EK waterblock; I highly recommend reading reviews for anything you buy from them. The EK waterblock on the other voltage regulator (top left) also required a bit of "tweaking". Be careful when you do this sort of thing. Make sure you have enough material to shave into. You really don't want to open up the side of a waterblock; it's not good for water and blood pressure. I also had to slightly enlarge at least one hole for both of them; hopefully I didn't cut into a hidden trace in the motherboard - that would be disastrous. Totally not impressed at all with EK products.

As for my experience with Swiftech; the cpu block is awesome, love it. As for the ones on the north and south bridges; not so much. The south bridge totally blocks the lower PCIE slot and has to be installed off-center so it doesn't block the middle PCIE slot. And then there's the fittings; they are so close together on both blocks that you cannot slide the hose clamps down without using a LOT of force and wiggling.

That is never good for the thermal paste under the waterblock; unsettling the waterblock means disturbing the paste, possibly setting yourself for some magic smoke to escape from that chip when it heats. And that's why I switched to using these rigid copper pipes; because the leftmost and rightmost waterblocks are both asking to tilt off their chips. The copper pipes are meant to act as a brace with the next waterblock; stronger sections of the chain passing on some strength to a weaker one.

Anyways that's my theory.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:46 pm 
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Frank, about your PC becoming unstable, you cooled the CPU but I don't see anything for the voltage regulator (most likely the big square on the left of the CPU).

Overclocking requires extra voltage, most likely cause for your instability without knowing your motherboard model.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:48 pm 
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Moving along slowly.

https://plus.google.com/photos/10093837 ... 5857566401

Can anyone else see these?
I never used google before.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 10:59 pm 
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Well using 1/2" tubing sounded like a good way to have maximum water flow. But in reality they are not practical. They require a lot of force to put on; hazardous stuff.

Compression fittings are more expensive but worth it. 3/8" inner diameter tubing would probably be good enough too. Too bad this pump uses 1/2" fixed outlets; I'd need 2 adapters. And then I'd have to switch to 3/8" fittings, an expense I can't justify.



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 Post subject: Re: Liquid cooling
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 2:29 am 
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CVA0014 wrote:
Moving along slowly.

https://plus.google.com/photos/10093837 ... 5857566401

Can anyone else see these?
I never used google before.


I cant see it. "You don't have permission to view this album"



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